After it faced severe backlash on social media, Bloomsbury India withdrew the publication of the book ‘Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story’ written by Monica Arora, Sonali Chitlakar and Prerna Malhotra. The book was a factual representation of the riots after interviews and investigation conducted by the authors.
The book which was due its release in September faced a backlash after a virtual pre-launch was organised, which alleges that February 2020 riots were the result of a planned conspiracy.
Bloomsbury India in a statement said that the virtual pre-publication launch was organised without the knowledge of the publishing house with the participation by the parties whom the Publishers would not have approved and hence the withdrawal of the book. It added in its statement that, “Bloomsbury India strongly supports freedom of speech but also has a deep sense of responsibility towards society.”
The statement came after the book launch after #ShameOnBloomsbury began trending and several authors and publishers questioning the credibility of the book and the involvement of the pro-Hindutva activists Nupur Sharma, Vivek Agnihotri and the BJP leader Kapil Mishra in the event.
After the book was withdrawn, several authors took to social media to express their dissent in the decision. Sanjeev Sanyal, Anand Reghunathan and Sandeep Deo tweeted against the publisher’s decision and even terminated their contract with the publishing house.